Perspectives is a series uncovering routines, inspiration, and insights by marketing leaders shaping the future around the globe.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Brianne Fleming is a marketing professor at the University of Florida. She also hosts a podcast called Making the Brand and a weekly Twitter Chat, #PopChat. She is passionate about branding, pop culture, mentorship – and believes the future of marketing means focusing on PEOPLE. 

In her words, Brianne shares her perspective on:

  • Building a brand with consistency…
  • Staying focused and inspired…
  • Embracing individuality… 

And more…

Describe your routine. What do you do for a living? What does your typical day look like?

I spend my days teaching and mentoring students at the University of Florida! I teach courses on branding, lead generation, and social media.

Even before the pandemic, the curriculum was taught all online! The program is designed to accommodate working professionals who need the flexibility and convenience of remote learning. So working from home via Zoom has been a big part of my life for a while!

I also host a podcast called Making the Brand which covers the intersection between marketing and pop culture. My days are spent interviewing other marketers in my community about takeaways we see in our favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and sports.

But Fridays are my favorite. I host a Twitter chat called #PopChat!

Who or what do you look to for inspiration?

As a pop culture lover, I believe inspiration is around us constantly. We find it in the things we love!

My favorite albums, sitcoms, or movies inspire me all the time.

In particular, I love nostalgia. If I’m ever in a creative rut, I’ll go down memory lane and research trends from past decades. Sometimes I’ll even close my laptop and go to an antique shop and just walk around.

It fascinates me to look for takeaways from our past that we can apply to the present and future.

What is a book, podcast, person, or event that helped shape your career – and why?

One of my favorite authors is Sally Hogshead.

I always come back to one simple quote of hers: “It’s good to be better, but it’s better to be different.”

This resonates with me so much because it can apply to both personal or corporate branding.

You don’t have to be better or more experienced than your competition to get an audience’s attention. Look for ways to be different instead.

What do you feel most marketers struggle with?

I think many marketers get distracted by what everyone else is doing.

Instead, stay focused on what you do best, and become known for it.

What does the future of marketing look like to you?

No matter what innovations are in our future, we will always be marketing to people. There will be tons of new trends, but no matter what’s next, empathy, authenticity, and a genuine interest in helping others will propel your brand forward.

What is something interesting or surprising you learned in the last few months?

I always knew consistency was important in marketing, but these past few months, I’ve had no choice but to hold myself accountable.

I committed to hosting a weekly Twitter chat every Friday at 1 pm ET. People in my community are counting on me to show up.

The good news is, it’s working! The chat and my community have inspired me to be more consistent in other aspects of my work.

What advice do you have for marketers and creatives who look up to you?

Who, me?!

Everything I’ve done to build my platform stems from my decision to just be myself. As an instructor at a top university, part of me felt like I needed to always present myself as a buttoned-up professor. Instead, I try to incorporate my real personality in my brand. Shouldn’t we all do that?!

Never compare yourself to others. Be different, be real, be YOU!

What are you excited about or looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to real experiences again! It’s been so amazing to see how brands (and people in general!) are creating virtual experiences in the pandemic, but I can’t wait for us to feel true togetherness again.

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